Learning New Skills from Multiple Brokerages

by Chicago Agent

In late 2007, Aaron McDonald discovered that different brokerages offer different learning opportunities when he left MetroPro to pursue an opportunity with another associate broker.

McDonald originally left MetroPro because there were a couple agents he wasn’t comfortable working with; his decision had nothing to do with the office environment as a whole. After all, by 2010, he had moved back at MetroPro more prepared to face the changing housing market.

“You need to be comfortable where you work, so you can rely on each other and ask advice,” McDonald said. Personal growth was and remains important to McDonald, which is reflected in his decision to switch brokerages.

While MetroPro is a boutique brokerage that specializes in staging, design and conversions, the Hyde Park brokerage McDonald moved to was more flexible about its units and worked with more rentals. McDonald describes the switch as a seamless one, encountering no issues with deals or clients when he made the move.

The brokerage he moved to in 2007’s focus came in good use when the housing market collapsed. McDonald
elaborated: “It’s sort of like being in a storm. When weather changes, swim in other direction,” he said. That other direction was leasing.

His new brokerage taught him how to rent units, market them and screen people not just based on credit score. So when the market fell, and fell hard, he said, “I knew how to do a rental.”

If he had stayed with MetroPro, he recognizes he would have learned renting eventually, but the new brokerage helped speed up the process. Unfortunately, that brokerage failed and McDonald geared up for another switch. Another opportunity came up with another broker in the area. McDonald stayed with her for two years, until she decided to get out of the real estate business.

Now comfortable with both selling and leasing, McDonald was more than happy to return to MetroPro. He’d kept that door open by keeping in contact with his mentors, Madelaine Gerbaulet-Vanasse and Donna Schwan. It also helped that the agents he hadn’t been comfortable working with before had left the brokerage.

Of his decision to move back, he said that he enjoys the atmosphere, including the office meetings and shared knowledge. The agents support one another, and now McDonald has a background he didn’t have before. His comfort level with rentals continues to grow, something he partially attributes to his brief move to another brokerage.

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